After testing it out internally over the past couple of months, Twitter has now launched a live test of its new, full-width visual display for tweets in-stream, which will see tweeted images, GIFs and videos take up more of the tweet view, and remove the rounded corners of the current display.
Now testing on iOS:— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 7, 2021
Edge to edge Tweets that span the width of the timeline so your photos, GIFs, and videos can have more room to shine. pic.twitter.com/luAHoPjjlY
As you can see here, the new visual format will take-up the whole horizontal space in the tweet feed, which will make your shared images and videos stand out with more solid blocks of visuals in the app.
As Twitter explains:
“By reducing the margins on Tweets, we can better use the space in a Tweet so the focus is on your message and what you have to say, while bringing the timeline to life with larger photos and videos. This test explores how we might support conversations in all their different forms by giving Tweets with photos, videos, and text more room to shine.”
As noted, Twitter’s been testing the updated display format for some time, with reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong sharing this image of the process in testing back in July.
It certainly looks better at first blush - but then again, it also feels a little Facebook-esque, and could be seen as removing some of the differentiation of the platform, especially with the removal of the rounded corners in the current display.
Here’s a comparison of the new and current formats, using an image posted by artist @arbacn.
It does seem like an improvement, but it will also prompt a re-think of how you use images within your tweets, and how users respond to such, which could be a new consideration for digital marketers and artists, specifically.
Twitter’s been trying to work out new visual display elements, which began with its Fleets experiment, with Twitter noting as part of the recent closure of Fleets that it’ll seek to incorporate some elements of Fleets process into other aspects of the platform:
“People enjoy quickly sharing photos and videos to add to the discussion on Twitter. Soon, we’ll test updates to the Tweet composer and camera to incorporate features from the Fleets composer – like the full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers”
This seems to be the first iteration of those tests, which could be the next stage in a broader reformat of the Twitter camera tools - which could eventually provide more options for image composition in the app.
Maybe, then, the next step will see full-screen images made available from tweets, and the addition of Stories-like visual tools, like stickers, to add more to Twitter’s options in this respect.
Either way, that’s a while off, with the new test only in its first, limited phase. Twitter says that the update will only be available in iOS for now, with an expansion to Android planned in the near future.